Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention

Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention

Colon cancer is a ‘silent’ cancer, meaning it often causes no major symptoms until it has reached advanced stages. Though it is a serious disease, it is also one of the most preventable. Disease awareness and education are among the most effective ways of informing patients of their colon cancer risk and encouraging them to undergo periodic screening for pre-cancerous and cancerous growths. At our office, our team of St. Petersburg GI specialists are committed to helping our patients become more informed about colon cancer prevention and awareness.

  

Did you know…

More than 135,000 people were diagnosed with colon cancer in the U.S. during 2011. Of them, 52 percent were men and 28 percent were women. Risk of developing the disease increases with age and primarily only affects people over age 60. However, the disease is very slow-growing and may begin as pre-cancerous polyps many years before turning into cancer. Early detection and removal of polyps can help prevent colon cancer from developing years before it starts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is at risk for developing colon cancer, and who should undergo screening?

Both men and women are at risk of colon cancer. Everyone in St. Petersburg should begin colon cancer screening no later than age 50 – 45 for African Americans. You may also be at increased risk for developing colon cancer if you have a history of benign colon polyps or if you have a family history of colon cancer.

How does a St. Petersburg gastroenterologist screen for colon cancer?

Colonoscopy is the most thorough and effective means of screening for colon cancer and pre-cancerous polyps. A colonoscopy is performed in an outpatient setting while the patient is under sedation. During the procedure, a small lighted camera is threaded through the colon, allowing the doctor to inspect the intestinal wall for signs of abnormal growths.

Is there anything else I can do to prevent colon cancer?

If you have an average risk of colon cancer, you may be able to prevent the disease by changing your diet to include more whole grains, fiber, fruits and vegetables. Limit alcohol consumption to only moderate amounts, if at all. This typically equates to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Increase your activity to 30 minutes per day, and stop using tobacco products if you currently smoke. Finally, keep your weight within a healthy range, as obesity is a risk factor for many cancers, including colon cancer.

If you have a heightened risk of colon cancer, you should adopt all of the above habits, as well as talk to your doctor about taking a daily aspirin. When taken regularly, aspirin may be able to reduce your risk of colon cancer. Prescription drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors may also effective for minimizing the chance of polyps returning in people who have had them in the past. In rare cases – usually those involving inherited syndromes or underlying gastrointestinal disorders – surgery may be necessary to remove all or part of the colon.

Gastroenterologist Services

Click on one of the services below to learn more.

Patient Reviews

" I have been having my endoscopy with Dr. Kamath for the past 4 years. I would recommend anyone to have their procedures done at this facility. The staff is professional, loving and efficient. Everyone knows what they are doing so there’s no confusion. Dr. Kamath greets me with a smile each time I’ve met him and handled my visits to his office like I’m a human being and never a number. The facility is clean . Smells and looks great and my favorite of all is… I never wait long. The office gives you an appointment, and they take you on time. I’ll go to dr Kamath and recommend him always."
- Ruth Ilyas

Our Locations

Florida Digestive Specialists – St. Pete
5651 49th St. N
St. Petersburg, FL 33709
Tel: (727) 443-4299   Fax: (727) 443-0255

Florida Digestive Specialists – Clearwater
1417 South Belcher Road, Suite A
Clearwater, FL 33764
Tel: (727) 443-4299   Fax: (727) 443-0255

Bay Area Endoscopy and Surgery Center
5771 49th St. N
St. Petersburg, FL 33709
Tel: (727) 528-2261 

Our Hospitals

Northside Hospital
6000 49th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33709
Tel: (727) 521-5158

St. Petersburg General Hospital
6500 38th Ave North
St Petersburg, FL 33710
Tel: (727) 461-8057